Saturday, 13 January 2018


Asian cuisine is my absolute favorite and I love trying to create my restaurant favorites at home too. Last weekend I decided to try and make some of my own bao buns. I discovered a recipe by "£1 meals" chef Miguel Barclay for a no fuss yeast free bao bun and adapted them to create this vegetarian friendly version stuffed with sweet and sticky mushrooms which have been fried in honey, soy, garlic and five spice. As they don't need yeast, these bao buns are foolproof and can be whipped up in less than one hour. 

So as mentioned above, the recipe for the yeast free bao bun is one I have adapted from a recipe in Miguel Barclay's book "Fast & Fresh". I love Miguel's books as they have given me some great ideas for recipes. If you're a home cooking beginner I really suggest that if you buy one cook book this year it is one of his. Head on over to Amazon and purchase a copy by clicking here.

With that being said, if you want to see the original recipe which is for a sticky beef bao then treat yourself to the book. Otherwise, have a go at my adjusted vegetarian version that uses yummy mushrooms which I find to be super delicious. The recipe below makes two big buns which are perfect for a hungry couple. You can make smaller buns if you divide the dough into four instead of two if you have more mouths to feed! 

Sticky And Sweet Mushroom Baos

1 Large Peeled Carrot
2 Spring Onions
160g Self Raising Flour
6 Tsp Honey
250g Chestnut Mushrooms
1 Grated Garlic Clove
2 Tsp Chinese Five Spice
2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce 
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
Salt And Pepper To Season 

  1. Begin by cutting the carrot and spring onions into very thin strips. Leave to one side. Place a pan that you can sit a bamboo steamer on onto the hob, pour in 200ml of water and bring to a gentle boil.
  2. Whilst the water boils, add the flour and 4 tsp of honey into a large bowl and pour in 80ml of cold water. Give everything a good mix together until a dough ball forms and then tip this out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for ten minutes until smooth. 
  3. Divide the dough into two equal sized balls. Roll each ball out into a circle about 1cm thick and fold them both loosely
    in half. Line your steamer with baking paper and pop in your folded bao dough (if they won't both fit in or you only have a one tier steamer you will need to steam them in 2 batches!).
  4. Pop the steamers on top of the pan of gently boiling water and leave to steam for 10 minutes until slightly puffed up and fluffy. Remove the steamers from the top of the pan and leave to rest.
  5. Whilst the bao buns steam, add the remaining honey, mushrooms, garlic and soy sauce into a pan which has been
    warming up on a high heat with a drizzle sesame oil. Fry everything together, stirring constantly until the mixture is bubbling. Keep going until the mushrooms are soft and the sauce has reduced so that it is sticky and thick. Remove the pan from the heat and tip the contents into a bowl.
  6. Assemble the bao buns by opening up the buns and spooning the mushroom mixture equally between them and topping with the raw carrot and spring onions before folding the buns back over again.
Serve your bao buns straight to the table along with a little bit of soy, hoi sin or sweet chili dipping sauce to dip any excess bao bun into. Grab your bao bun with both hands and proceed to shove into your mouth. The bao bun itself will be soft and fluffy, the perfect contrast to that crunch you get from the raw carrot and onions. That mushroom filling is the star of the show though. It so rich, unctuous and lip smackingly delicious that these sticky and sweet mushroom baos are going to become your new favorite Eastern treat. There's some serious wow to these baos!

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